136 HISTORY OF PERSIA CHAP. . shore, and gaze with wonder into the world that lies buried beneath—a world of feeling and thought and action that has passed away from earth's memory for ever, whilst its palace^'and heroes are dimly seen mirrored below, as in the enchanted lake of Arabian story." Happy is Firdausi to have inspired such a splendid encomium ! The Siasat-Nama.—In Chapter LII. some account has been given of the Nizam-ul-Mulk as statesman and administrator, and it was mentioned that he was also the author of the Siasat-Nama, or " Treatise on the Art of Government." This great work comprises fifty chapters, treating of royal duties, royal prerogatives, and adminis- tration. It is written in simple language, and as it embodies the views of the greatest of Persian administra- tors, who adorns his narrative with numerous historical anecdotes, it is one of the most valuable Persian prose works in existence. Nasir-i-Khusru>—Reference has also been made to Nasir-i-Khusru, in the capacity of Ismaili propagandist But he was poet and traveller as well. The record of his adventures is contained in a work termed Safar-Nama, or " Treatise of Travel," which gives in simple language the details of his journey from Merv to Nishapur, Tabriz, and across Asia Minor to Aleppo. He then performed the pilgrimage to Mecca by way of Jerusalem, and finally reached Cairo in A.H. 439 (1047). ^n Egypt he was initiated into the esoteric doctrines of the Ismailis, and was awarded the tide of Hujjat, or " Proof," in Khorasan. He gives a most interesting account of the prosperity, good order, and justice prevailing under the Fatimite Caliphs in Egypt, whence after a stay of two or three years he returned to Khorasan. On this journey he followed a southern route, visiting Isfahan, Nain, Tabas, Tun and Sarakhs ; of these, Tabas and Tun afterwards became well-known Ismaili centres. Of his poetry, the Diwan is famous, its main theme being a strong insistence on the Ismaili view of allegorical interpretation. As so many of the great men of the period hailed from Khorasan, I have quoted a stanza from his poem addressed to them, by way of heading to this chapter.